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Join Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on the road as we explore Mexican Cuisine with Chef Danny Mena at Conejo. In 2010, UNESCO put Mexican cuisine on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, primarily because of the bean, the chile and corn. The evening will start with a talk by Chef Danny, who will focus on these delicious and versatile plants along with the farming practices that have been used for centuries to grow these amazing crops. The symbiosis between corn, squash and beans has allowed Mexican cuisine to flourish in small farms throughout Mexico. The class title “La milpa y el Maguey” incorporates words in Nahuatl, the tongue spoken before the Spanish Conquista, and has been incorporated into the Spanish language in Mexico. Milpa means “a small field mainly of maize” and Maguey, from the Nahuatl Mahagua, means “the plant that gives life or water–agave.” Chef Danny will provide participants with recipes to take home.

Following the discussion, join Chef Danny for an elevated and delicious three-course dinner with paired cocktails, wine and coffee!

Guacamole – House made corn tortilla chips
Opening Cocktail – Classic Margarita with Chia

Ensalada de La Milpa – Local greenswell grower greens, late summer squash, heirloom beans, grilled cactus, avocado, pumpkin seeds
La Pluma – Hibiscus, strawberry infused mezcal, grapefruit, lemon

Chile Relleno – Chile Poblano filled with house made chorizo and black beans, queso chihuahua on a bed of chipotle tomato sauce
Monte Xanic – Chenin Blanc ’21 – Baja California, MX

Pavlova de Maiz – Heirloom corn pavlova with berries
Café de Olla – Mexican coffee with canela

Note: We are able to accommodate vegetarian requests and non-alcoholic beverages. Please be sure to indicate those preferences during registration.

Fee is all-inclusive and covers the class location, talk with Chef Danny Mena, all food and beverage, Richmond City Meals tax and gratuity. Please note that this class will meet off-site at Conejo (5820 Patterson Ave, Richmond, VA 23226).

All programs are subject to change.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden strives to be a Garden for all and we are committed to offering diverse adult learning opportunities that are inclusive and accessible to all learners. If you would like to request an accommodation to support your participation in an adult learning opportunity at the Garden, please contact [email protected] or call 804-262-9887 x328 and we will make our best effort to help.

Register Member $78

Register Non-Member $94

Tuesday, September 12, 2023
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Details

Chef Danny Mena Conejo The Milpa and the MagueyAbout the Instructor

Danny Mena, raised in Mexico City,  trained and became renowned in New York City’s kitchens and acclaimed in publications like Vanity FairLA TimesNew York TimesRolling Stone – and Mexican media as well – for the traditional Mexican food he served at his restaurant Hecho en Dumbo and now La Loncheria and Conejo. In 2019 he launched his debut cookbook, Made in Mexico, inspired by the best restaurants, fondas, loncherías, and taco stands in Mexico City and adapted for the home cook. Made in Mexico is a delicious blend of classic, regional, and contemporary Mexican cuisine. In 2022 he moved to Richmond to open the restaurant Conejo, named after a varietal heirloom corn, a celebrated upscale Mexican restaurant, focusing on the base of Mexico’s cuisine, the corn the bean and the chile.

If you’re interested in Mexican cuisine, don’t forget to register for the Plants, Cuisine and Culture webinar with Pati Jinich, coming up on September 26th! Pati Jinich is the host and executive producer of the award-winning PBS Primetime docuseries La Frontera, which shares untold stories from the US-Mexico border and just aired its second season, and the long-running 4x Emmy-nominated PBS daytime show Pati’s Mexican Table, where Pati brings Mexican flavors from around the country into American homes.